EFFA Panellists Announced

At EFFA, we know that the conversations and actions our festival sparks are just as important as the films we bring you from around the world.

Our stellar line up of panellists and speakers will help you understand the issues at hand, and provide tips to take action and reduce your environmental impact.

From activists, academics, Indigenous thought leaders, city planners and toxicologists, to journalists, farmers, psychologists, and conservationists, our expert panellists offer interesting and informed perspectives. They’ll cover everything from climate change, food sovereignty and waste, to conservation, colonialism and health care.

Read on to find out more, and don’t forget to join us for opening night next week to start the festival with a bang!

#EFFA2018 runs from Thursday 11 – Tuesday 16 October at ACMI, and Wednesday 18 – Friday 19 October at Palace Westgarth Cinema.  

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Anote’s Ark

Our Pacific island neighbour, Kiribati, is submerging under water as a direct result of climate change. To tell us more about his tireless campaign to bring world-wide attention to this devastation, we are honoured to be joined by former Kiribati President, Anote Tong, in conversation with Triple J’s Hack reporter, Jo Lauder.

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The Reluctant Radical

This heartbreaking and heart-warming story delves into the life of long-time activist, Ken Ward, and the toll activism can take. Our panellists are well-versed in these topics: Nicola Paris established Counter Act to encourage non-violent direct action; psychologist Dr Bronwyn Gresham volunteers with Psychology for a Safe Climate and established Compassionate Nature to support the emotional needs of climate change workers and campaigners; and Audrey Cooke, member of Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children, is a Stop Adani activist, who has locked herself to the gate of the Adani mine! You can also read our blog interview with Bronwyn.  

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The Devil We Know

The bio-persistent chemical used in Teflon products (known as C8) can be found in the bloodstream of 99% of all Americans. Many Australians also use Teflon products, but at what costs to our health? To help answer this, hear from Associate Professor Paul Wright, toxicologist at RMIT’s School of Health and Biomedical Sciences

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When Lambs Become Lions

An expose into the true cost of ivory hunting, this film traverses the worlds of two Kenyan cousins – an ivory dealer and a wildlife ranger – both battling poverty and their own consciences. YGAP’s Patrick O'Callaghan will open this screening, providing insights into how his not-for-profit international development organisation alleviates poverty through social enterprise and innovative business across Australasia and Africa.

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The Milk System

The Milk System brings us face-to-face with farmers, dairy owners, politicians, lobbyists, NGOs and scientists the world over – all with a different view about the multi-billion dollar milk industry. Joins us for a thought-provoking discussion about food politics and ethical agriculture with: Tammi Jonas, meatsmith and Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance President; Sophie Lamond academic and Fair Food Challenge activist; and ‘kind milk’ advocate and owner of How Now Dairy, Dr Les Sandles.

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Welcome to Sodom

Charting recycling efforts in the world’s largest electronic waste dump in Ghana, this film paints a devastating picture of environmental decay and colonialist exploitation. Opening this screening is Dr Sean O’Malley, Planet Ark‘s research and technical manager, leading the science that underpins the organisation’s activities now and into the future.

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The Ancient Woods

Capturing beautiful and rare footage of native animals in one of the last remaining old growth forests of Eastern Europe, this screening opens with a foreword by Dr Paul Sinclair, Director of Campaigns at the Australian Conservation Foundation and past Chair of the Australian Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

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Dark Eden

Charting the emotional and health impacts of working at the world’s third largest oil reserve, Fort McMurray, this film also captures terrifying footage of people fleeing the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire – the most costly disaster in Canada’s history. Drawing parallels to Victoria’s devastating 2014 Hazelwood brown coal mine fire, hear from Voices of the Valley’s Wendy Farmer about the pursuit of justice in the face of catastrophic environmental disaster. You can also read our blog interview with Wendy.

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As Worlds Divide

Following the global financial crisis in 2008, Melbourne-based Rob Henry left the rat race for a new life living with the Indigenous people of Mentawai, Indonesia. What did he learn about living in symbiosis with nature? How did he traverse these two very different worlds? What next? Find out at our In Conversation event with Rob, as he chats with Dr Alexander Cullen, Human Geographer at the University of Melbourne. You can also read our blog interview with Rob.

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Experimental City

Delve into the vision of leading 1960s American scientist Athelstan Spilhaus who, concerned by pollution, sustainability and energy supplies, sought to create a model city of the future. How far have we come, and what next for urban planning? Find out as Wendy Steele Associate Professor in Cities, Sustainability and Planning RMIT chats with Dr Paul Satur, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Valli Morphett CEO CoDesign Studio and Dr Tanja Beer Academic Fellow in Performance Design and Sustainability RMIT. You can also read our blog interview with Valli.  

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The Panguna Syndrome

Some 17 years since the Bougainville Crisis, the cultural and spiritual pain is still raw. With the government attempting to resuscitate the Panguna copper mine, again bringing questions of capitalist and colonial forces to the surface, we explore Australian Indigenous perspectives on land protection and the impacts of fossil fuel extraction with National Director of Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network Amelia Telford, a young Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman from Bundjalung country.

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Living the Change: Inspiring Stories

Melbourne Director Joel Osmond interviews world environmental experts and local community members in New Zealand to share the accessible changes everyone can make towards reducing their environmental footprint. Joel joins us for a chat with award-winning journalist, documentary maker, social entrepreneur and co-founder of Co-Ground Nicole Precel, introduced by Darebin City Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Lina Messina.

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Stella Pollaris Ulloriarsuaq

With the Indigenous Kalaallit people of Greenland literally watching their culture melt beneath their feet, concerns about capitalist and colonial forces eroding sovereign territory abound. Join us for insightful Indigenous perspectives with Pacific Climate Warrior and Melbourne Coordinator for 350 Jacynta Fuamatu, award-winning author and inaugural Bruce McGuinness Research Fellow, Professor Tony Birch, and pākeha scholar and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Timothy Neale, who is currently studying the intersections between settler-Indigenous politics, natural hazards and environmental governance. This screening opens with a foreword by Darebin City Council’s Cr Susan Rennie.

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Bird Of Prey

Bird of Prey deftly explores the vanishing world of the Philippine Eagle and the inner lives of the heroes who will stop at nothing to save it. A triumphant celebration highlighting the importance of conservation, we’ll here from: Darebin City Council’s Cr Steph Amir; Friends of Merri Park Wetland’s Dr Leslie Fraser; Dr Nadine Richings, Darebin Nature Trust member; and Trust for Nature’s Marnie Lassen. This event marks the closing night of EFFA 2018, with complimentary canapes and drinks after the screening.